For Balinese Hindu, Melukat ritual is an important aspect of their religious life. Originated from the ancient language, ‘lukat’ means cleansing or purifying. By washing the body in holy water, people ask for God’s blessing to remove negativity and bad energies from their body-mind-soul so they can be closer God and the Divine Power.
If you have an urge to freeing yourself from any negativity or experience this Balinese ritual, you can also do it, too. Some people normally go to Tirta Empul Temple for cleansing. However, the place can be over-crowded most of the times. Alternatively, a 2-hour drive to the west you can find Tirta Sudamala Temple in Bebalang Village, Bangli Regency.
The holy water site is located in the middle of thick trees not far from the centre of Bangli Village. Tucked away in a slope area of dense jungle, spotting this site might be not easy. Turn on your GPS and pay attention to the road-sign until you see a green sign written ‘Tirta Sudamala’ and its pointing direction. After that, you can simply follow other signs as you pass through resident’s houses and rice fields.
Next to a temple complex, Tirta Sudamala’s holy water fountains are protected by a huge Bunut Tree, which also is the source of the water spring. Wearing proper cloth (sarong) is mandatory to enter the area, and please be advised that women in the menstrual period are prohibited. There are 11 water fountains here, consisting of 2-short and 9-tall fountains, and a lagoon area on the other side. Visitors may take a dip in the lagoon’s clean water before doing the Melukat.
The water is refreshing in a combination of warm and cold. The locals believe that those who are struggling with life’s challenges will benefit from bathing in the waters, which wash away ambiguity and lead to spiritual awakening. The waters of Tirta Sudamala are also believed to cure illnesses and cleanse auras. It is an ideal location for praying, meditation and reflection. For first-timers who are not familiar with this thing, worry not, as a huge board sign will explain the ritual’s steps. In general, you need to wash your body, moving from one fountain to another, while praying for your intention.
Having a local person at your side can be a good idea is to have a local person to guide you. Or, if you prefer an organised trip, Sudamala Suites & Villa in Sanur provides a day package of Sudamala Signature Purification Tour, allowing guests to experience body, mind, soul-cleansing and purifying as the Balinese people do.
“When we pray, God hears more than we say, He answers more than we ask, He gives more than we imagine… in His own time… in his own way!”